Understanding sugarcane ripening control is an interesting scientific challenge. Ethylene is a key component for maturation on several plant species. However, in sugarcane, a plant with unique sucrose accumulation characteristics, the role of ethylene remains elusive. Our hypothesis is that ethylene is a key hormone for several sugarcane developmental steps. This project has as goal the production of transgenic sugarcane plants silenced for the genes coding the enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) using interference RNA and evaluate the physiological and biometrical status of the transgenic plants. In order to achieve this goal we propose (a) production of a hairpin-based silencing cassette; (b) genetic transformation of sugarcane plants; (c) evaluation of the biometric status through quantification of green leaves, dry leaves, number of tillers, internodes growth and internodes diameter; (d) evaluation of physiological status through quantification of photosynthetic activity, chlorophyll content, carbon isotopic discrimination, sugar and ethylene quantification. The comprehension of the developmental implications of the reduced content of the ACS on sugarcane will allow the determination of the role of the ethylene on sugar accumulation and in other processes such as biomass production and stress response.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: